"Mr. Kinetic" Gives Nod of Approval
The Super Sports Show was about to begin at the World Congress Convention Center in Atlanta and for those of us involved in the business of sports, it was an exciting time of year. Thousands of people from across the globe had made the annual trek to one of the largest trade show events in the world. It was the mid 90s, just prior to the digital revolution, and trade shows were still a critical facilitator of business and trade relationships. It was a big deal. The show would last four or five days and big brands like Nike and Adidas would invest heavily to put on a big show for their partners and colleagues to come and enjoy themselves, see new products and do business.
Distinguished Tennis Guest
I had been to the show in Atlanta the previous year but this year was special. I had new prototypes of my experimental tennis racquet design with me and meetings with manufacturers set up. I was looking to license the design and eager to show the new racquets off. Another big highlight of the event would be the appearance of tennis legend Rod Laver to help launch a new tennis racquet. I was curious about the racquet and of course I admired Mr. Laver so I was especially fired up for the occasion.
First thing in the morning on day one of the show, I went straight to the Pro Kennex booth on the display floor to get a glimpse of the left-handed Australian tennis champ. It turned out that Mr. Laver's schedule was far more jammed up than mine, no surprise, so he wouldn't be in the booth until later. It was disappointing but it gave me time to look around. Right in front of me was the new Kinetic racquet being introduced by Pro Kennex and hailed as the next great remedy for racquet vibration and various issues of arm and wrist discomfort. Having spent the previous couple of years studying racquet patents, I was familiar with the concept of a kinetic mass design but I didn't know it was already in production. It was an eye-opener for me to see the concept realized in a real product.